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Replace a Refrigerator Water Filter

Learn how to replace a refrigerator water filter to keep your drinking water fresh and healthy.

replace a refrigerator water filter

Project Preparation

To save time during your water filter replacement project, collect the things you'll need in advance.

  • Replacement Water Filter
  • Wrench
  • Masking Tape
  • Towel
  • Felt-Tipped Pen or Marker

Replace Your Water Filter Yourself

With a little effort, you won't have to pay someone else to keep your family's drinking water clean.

Step 1

Locate your refrigerator's water filter. On most models, the filter is on the refrigerator grille at the base of the fridge. The water filter might also be on the back upper-right corner of your refrigerator. You'll see either a knob or a button that will release the filter.  Some models twist off.

Step 2

Remove the old water filter from your refrigerator. You can do this two different ways, depending on what type of fridge you have. For quarter-turn cap models, unscrew the water filter by turning the filter knob counterclockwise. You may need to use a wrench to unscrew the filter. When the cap is in a vertical position, pull on it to remove the filter. Slide the filter cap off the filter cartridge and put it in a safe place. You'll reuse the cap on your new water filter.

If you have a push-button filter cap, push the button next to the cap while pulling on the water filter to remove it. To release the cap, turn it counterclockwise until it detaches from the filter. Set the cap aside in a safe place until you're ready to reuse it.

When you remove the filter from your refrigerator, it might drip water. To prevent spills, hold the filter in an upright position. Lay the old filter on a towel to absorb any water that drips out.

Step 3

Remove the new refrigerator water filter from its packaging and replace the cartridge cap. If you have a quarter-turn filter cap, simply slide it onto the new filter. If you have a push-button cap, align the cap and filter, and twist the cap until it clicks into place.

Step 4

Replace the filter and cap. For a quarter-turn cap, make sure the cap is in the vertical position. Slide it into the filter hole. Don't over-tighten the water filter. Turn the cap clockwise until it clicks into place. For a push-button cap, align the filter cap and insert it into the hole. Once you insert the filter properly, the eject button will pop up.

Step 5

Run two or more gallons of water through your new filter to remove any traces of carbon. This takes less than five minutes and helps prevent your water dispenser from sputtering. It also clears the system of any impurities left over from manufacturing.

Step 6

Place a small piece of masking tape on the outside of the water filter labeled with the date you replaced the filter.  This lets you know when to replace it again. Omit this step if your refrigerator has an indicator light or if your new filter comes with a self-adhesive label on the filter.

Step 7

Reset the indicator light, if applicable. Your refrigerator owner's manual should tell you how to reset the light. On most models, simply push the reset button several times or press it down for a few seconds.